December 10 2013 Latest news:
By RICHARD WOOD and KATE SCOTTER
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
A churchwarden from Bungay and a clergyman from Old Catton will meet the Queen tomorrow as they are honoured for their tireless work helping others.
Roma Went, churchwarden at Holy Trinity Church in Bungay, and the Rev Terry Patient, honorary assistant priest at St Margaret’s Church, Norwich, have been chosen as two of 172 men and women from around the country to receive Maundy money in the traditional service.
Both will receive two purses in the Maundy Thursday service at York Minister as they meet the Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Beatrice.
Mrs Went, 79, said: “This is really important to me, and means such a lot.
“It’s not something that happens to you every day and I was amazed when I heard I was among those chosen.”
She added that she was really excited by the honour and admitted her first thought was “why me?”.
“This is lovely for my family too and is such a special occasion. Not many people have this opportunity and I have been and bought a new hat specially,” she said.
Rev Ian Byrne, priest in charge of the Bungay Benefice, said Mrs Went was “one of life’s givers”.
“Roma has served as a church warden for so long we can’t remember when she started,” he said.
Mr Byrne added the former town reeve, who also helps with Bungay in Bloom, and her husband Geoffrey, 85, are “fabulous supporters of the community”.
Mrs Went was nominated to represent the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich diocese at the Royal Maundy Service by the Rt Rev Nigel Stock.
He said: “It is a wonderful gesture by Her Majesty the Queen in the Diamond Jubilee year to invite recipients from around the country this year and not just those in the area of where the service takes place.
“Roma Went is a very fitting representative for us and I hope it is a thoroughly memorable day for her and her family.”
Mr Patient, 76, was nominated to represent the Norfolk diocese by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James.
He has been involved in the church for 60 years and said he was “humbled” to be nominated.
The married grandfather, who used to be the headteacher at Lodge Lane Infant School and was ordained at Norwich Cathedral, said: “It will be an experience. It will be the biggest service I’ve ever been involved in.”
The traditional royal service, which dates back to the Middle Ages, returns to York Minster for the first time in 40 years. There will be 86 women and 86 men honoured as they are given the two purses, one red and one white.
The red purse will contain a £5 coin commemorating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and a 50p coin.
The white purse contains uniquely minted Maundy money, taking the form of silver one, two, three and four penny pieces.